Uber’s CEO requires office workers vaccination but not drivers’ 

In a CNBC interview on Thursday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced that the ride-hailing giant will mandate its office workers to get vaccinated to resume working hours, but not its drivers.  

Later this year, all of Uber’s U.S. corporate office-based staff will be obliged to get the COVID-19 vaccine before resuming working hours. However, Khosrowshahi says it wouldn’t be fair to necessitate drivers’ vaccination but not passengers. 

According to the ride-hailing giant’s CEO, the company will not compel approximately four million drivers worldwide – one million of whom are in the U.S. – to get the vaccine.  

Since Uber drivers are independent contractors, the responsibility falls on the government agencies to impose the order instead of private companies.  

Since drivers are gig workers the company does not provide regular benefits such as health care or 401k – a defined-contribution retirement account that lets employees save a fragment of their salary in a tax-advantaged manner – unlike its full-time staffers. 

“It would be fair to require vaccines for riders and drivers,” Khosrowshahi addressed the issue. 

“We’ve got over 100 million riders and drivers constantly moving around together on a monthly basis and we think that the push, which we completely support, should be for the government to get people vaccinated, everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible so we can get back to life,” he added. 

It is worth mentioning that Uber has yet to share its current figures on how many drivers the company covers but on Wednesday, it announced that it maintained 1.51 million trips on its platform in its Q2 2021.  

The San-Francisco-based firm invested in elevating vaccination measures by including free rides to vaccination sites offered to its riders. By doing so, Uber would promote frequent traveling by rising vaccination rates, which would increase Uber’s services.  

For the CEO, the decision was one of the easiest calls the company had to make, considering the company has already encouraged other measures to maintain their drivers’ safety and to prevent the virus’s hasty spread. 

“Based on circumstances we’re seeing now, we think the best path forward is for us and the government, and we’ve certainly played our part to push vaccinations… to get the vaccination rates up, we think that’s the best way forward,” Khosrowshahi said during the interview.  

Khosrowshahi also added that the decision could be altered since it would be worth taking into consideration requiring both riders and drivers to be vaccinated, and not only the drivers. But no certain answer was given by the CEO.